Nonprofit Pulse: A Leadership Survey From Marks Paneth

February 9, 2017 | Download PDF

Mark Paneth’s Nonprofit Pulse collects the opinions of nonprofit leaders twice a
year. Findings from the Summer/Fall 2016 survey provide insights into the impact of
funding challenges on meeting demand for services, attracting and retaining staff
and the financial stability of organizations facing funding gaps.
The majority of respondents are senior leaders of human-service nonprofits
operating in the US, including executive directors, CEOs, CFOs, board members, and

The results reported here are based on completed, self-administered online surveys fielded in
late August and September 2016. Marks Paneth supervised the survey design. Galloway
Research hosted the data collection site. Business Research Solutions managed the research
project, analyzed the data and reported the findings.
The majority of respondents (85%) were senior leaders, including executive directors, CEOs,
CFOs, board members, and directors. Ninety-one percent of respondents worked for domestic

The majority of organizations were nonprofit corporations or trusts. Sixty-two percent focused
on human services, followed by education (34%), health (31%), community development
(22%), public policy (14%), legal/justice (10%), commerce (8%), science & technology (7%),
environmental (6%) and animal welfare (4%). Note that an organization could identify as
belonging to multiple sectors.
The majority of organizations were small. Twelve percent had less than five employees. Fortyone
percent had 50 or fewer employees. Fifty nine percent had 100 or fewer employees. One
in four organizations had between 100 and 500 employees. Only 16% had over 500

Over one in four organizations (28%) ended last year with a deficit. Twenty percent broke
even. Forty-four percent ended the year with a deficit. Six percent of respondents said that
they did not know.

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